“It is by far my favorite exercise,” says Walsh, the founder of Rise Nation, which has studios in several states, plus Asia and Australia. “It's one of the biggest bang-for-buck exercises because it [involves] strength and conditioning all in one!”
Why he loves the sled push
A sled push is a full-body exercise that focuses on strength-building, power, and speed at the same time, while also getting your heart rate elevated. “It requires a high level of muscle coordination between every muscle in the body,” Walsh says. “It's a single-leg exercise as every step brings one foot off the ground, causing you to brace your core.”
Although you might think that this is an exercise that only football players would do, Walsh says that it is actually great for all fitness levels: If you're new to the sled, try it without added weights and build up as you progress. If you're a strength-conditioning pro, check in with a trainer on how much weight to try.
How do you do a sled push?
You’ll need to tackle this power move at a gym where you can find the weighted sled equipment. Fortunately, sled workouts are growing in popularity, and more gyms are adding sleds to their regular inventory.
Stand in front of the sled with one foot in front of the other and your knees slightly bent. Hinge forward and grab the sled’s bars. With your core engaged, drive through your legs and push the sled forward.
One of the best parts: There's no single "right" way to do a sled push. Which makes it an incredibly versatile exercise
For instance, adding more of an angle between your body and the sled will increase difficulty. “There are many variations, but one of my favorites is to push at about a 30-degree lean with arms extended, like a sprinter out of the blocks,” Walsh says. Picture a runner about to take off: Lean forward, grab the handles, and push the sled forward.
More weights can be added for extra resistance, though Walsh believes it's best to start light and build up as you progress and grow more comfortable with the movement. You can also alter your distance: Try short, quick pushes, or go for longer ones. Walsh recommends going faster for a high intensity application, or load up the sled with extra weight for a strengthening emphasis.
And if a sled push sounds like a terrible idea to you...
While Walsh loves a good all-out sweat session, he emphasizes that general wellness also means getting out and doing what you enjoy, whatever that may be. “It doesn’t matter what you do—walking, strength training, yoga—find something you enjoy and stay active,” he says.
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